Science of Learning Conference

Annie Fogarty was a member of a panel discussion at the recent Science of Learning (SOL) Leadership Accelerator in Melbourne. The SOL Accelerator was organised by Knowledge Society and hosted by the Crowther Centre, Brighton Grammar School. 

One hundred and thirty educators from around Australia attended to discuss and accelerate evidence-based change in effective teaching practice, and how the Science of Learning can be scaled in Australia from niche to mainstream.  

The Science of Learning is the cognitive-science on how students learn and connects learning to practical implications for teaching. It includes how students: 

All educators should be able to connect these principles to their classroom practise. Speakers at the conference included Dr Jenny Donovan CEO of the Australian Education Research Organisation, Pamela Snow Professor of Cognitive Psychology, Ollie Lovell author of Cognitive Load Theory in Action and Tools for Teachers, and Ross Fox Director of Catholic Education (Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn) who is working to ensure their whole system is based on the Science of Learning.  

With Australian students’ academic performance declining and 28% of our Year 7 students not functionally literate enough to be able to access further learning, we need to teach reading with evidence-based practises. This will ensure that at least 95% of our students can read effectively, not just 60 to 70%.  For this to happen, universities will need to base their Initial Teacher Education courses on evidence-based practises and professional learning for teachers will need to focus on developing this mindset and toolkit for present teachers.  

The Fogarty Foundation support the Science of Learning through the Fogarty EDvance School Improvement Program and our Teaching Intensives.  Learn about the Science of Learning here.

On Tuesday evening, Arts Impact WA awarded Reclaim the Void and CinefestOz with the inaugural Arts Impact WA High Impact Grants for 2022. The grants are worth $100,000 each and will support the winners with their regionally based proposals.

CinefestOZ – Broome Festival will be WA’s first Indigenous-focused film festival, co-delivered by WA’s only Indigenous-owned film company, Goolarri Media Enterprises. It will be a flamboyant 4-day celebration of national significance, curated for the unique social landscape of Broome. Film screenings, community events, and school and industry programs will ensure something for everyone.  

During the event, students will be immersed in film through curriculum-linked activities that grow industry-ready talent on both sides of the camera. The event will employ two local Indigenous film officers, engage 12 media professionals and attract 3,000+ attendees. 

Set to launch in November 2022, CinefestOZ Broome will celebrate the importance of on-screen storytelling in connecting communities and fostering reconciliation in the Kimberley and beyond. 

Reclaim the Void is a bold cross-cultural project that will cover a mining pit in northern Goldfields with an enormous textile artwork depicting the story of country. Based on Ngalia elders expressing grief over the ‘gaping mining holes’ on their country, the artwork will be created by stitching together thousands of rag-rugs made from discarded fabric by people from all walks of life.

This project, created by Vivienne Robertson in collaboration with Ngalia Heritage Research Council, is already deeply resonating across Australia and the world, as people, schools and organisations respond to the call for rugs. Forty artists, cultural leaders and an ever-expanding group of collaborators will co-create this shared act of healing and reconciliation. 

In late 2023, the WA Museum will exhibit cultural and artistic outcomes, including stunning aerial images of the installation. 

Four addional finalists including Sensorium Theatre Inc, Annette Carmichael, Verity Leach and Simone Flavelle walked away with $10,000 to kick start their projects.

The Fogarty Foundation is a founding member of Arts Impact WA, supporting excellence in the arts in Western Australia. 

We can build a more resilient and exciting WA through supporting a wide range of small and emerging arts organisations. Now is the time to be supporting creators of the arts and we look forward to doing so through Arts Impact WA.”

Annie Fogarty AM

Find out more about Arts Impact WA and how they are coming together to ignite the arts here.

Michael Burrows, shortlisted for the Fogarty Literary Award in 2019, is one of this year’s Sydney Morning Herald Best Young Australian Novelists. 

Michael is an author and poet from Perth, Western Australia. In 2017, he completed a Master’s in Creative Writing in London, during which he wrote the first draft of his novel Where the Line Breaks

“Getting Where the Line Breaks out into the world has been one of my proudest achievements, especially given the turmoil of the last few years, so this recognition for my hard work and the work of Fremantle Press in publishing the book, is a very welcome feeling.”

Michael Burrows

Where the Line Breaks is both historical fiction and a literary mystery story, originally reviewed in the Sydney Morning Herald as a ‘lively take on the limitations of scholarship and on the unknowable nature of the past’.

Along with Michael, Diana Reid and Ella Baxter have also been recognised for their work. The judges explained that the three novelists stood out for their ‘strong narrative voices, memorable characters and sharp writing – they’ll make you laugh, cry and keep thinking long after you’ve turned the final page.’

The Sydney Morning Herald Best Young Australian Novelist awards were established by former Herald literary editor Susan Wyndham to recognise emerging local writing talent. Previous winners of the award include Alice Nelson, Nam Le, Jessie Tu, Alice Bishop, Robbie Arnott, Michael Mohammed Ahmad, Hannah Kent, Sonya Hartnett, Malcolm Knox, Elliot Perlman, Luke Davies, Craig Silvey, Christos Tsiolkas and Gillian Mears.

Follow the link below to read the Sydney Morning Herald article, Sex, love and footnotes: Meet the 2022 Best Young Australian Novelists.

Image courtesy of Sydney Morning Herald.

With the Federal Election looming and candidates eager to hear from constituents, the UWA Fogarty Scholars joined Celia Hammond, Member for the seat of Curtin and Liberal candidate for the upcoming federal election, for a conversation about education, leadership, politics, resilience and more. This event follows the successful conversation the Scholars had with Kate Chaney, independent candidate for the seat of Curtin.

Celia opened by explaining her upbringing, education and what led her to the world of politics. Celia studied law at the University of Western Australia (UWA), worked as a lawyer in private practice before moving into a career as a legal academic at UWA and the University of Notre Dame (UNDA). At UNDA she had various roles, including Legal Counsel, Deputy Vice Chancellor and in 2018, Celia was appointed Vice Chancellor of the University of Notre Dame, a position she held until moving into politics. Celia has been the Member for Curtin since 2019. 

Celia shared her areas of focus, talking about her Liberal beliefs and values, including:

The Scholars raised a wide range of topics, spanning climate change and the government’s commitment to Net Zero by 2050, how quickly we can reach Net Zero and how the country will do so, the technological advancements of the future and how they will impact the world, addressing the needs of the Curtin electorate whilst balancing the needs of the country, the government response to the COVID 19 pandemic, the development of resilience, how to combat imposter syndrome and whether or not individuals can have ‘everything’. 

Celia encouraged the Scholars to find their driving force and follow their passions. 

“Don’t be afraid to change paths or take a risk, the worst thing that will happen is that you will fall.” 

Celia Hammond MP

Many thanks to Celia for sharing this conversation with the group, and to the Scholars who joined us for the discussion. Communication is key to understanding and assists in all aspects of life. By assisting in the development of successful and respectful communication skills, we are encouraging our Scholars to take part in discussions that will change the future. 

We are excited to be working with iyarn, EdConnect and The Salvation Army’s Balga Early Learning Centre. With these new partnerships comes new educational opportunities, improved outcomes and positive collaborations with wide impact.

iyarn

iyarn is a tool that uses simple, purposeful and flexible check-ins to connect people and monitor wellbeing. The check-ins are a safe space to be heard and for personal reflection for users. For schools, the platform is a source of information on individual students, cohorts and wellbeing trends.

The Fogarty Foundation are supporting iyarn’s WA research project in 2021, in partnership through Schools Plus. The iyarn app and platform is used to check in on mental well-being. This project will run the tool in 10 EDvance schools, as a pilot to test and refine the tool, and establish a foundation for adoption on a wider basis for the future. iyarn will be undertaking research on this project to ensure we are supporting schools and students at the point of need.

EdConnect

EdConnect Australia is a charity that trains, supports and places volunteers in schools to improve the lives of vulnerable children. They have over 1,300 volunteers working with over 14,000 students – the majority in WA and expanding in Victoria and NSW. EdConnect provide regular training and development opportunities for volunteers to engage with quality volunteers in a meaningful and purposeful way. 

EdConnect are wanting to develop more training courses for their volunteers.  The Fogarty Foundation are going to support the development of three training modules:

1. An online reading training for volunteers

2. Cyber security education

3. Supporting students with additional needs, developed with Dyslexia Speld Foundation.

The Salvation Army – Balga Early Learning Centre and Family Crisis Support 

The Salvation Army’s Balga Early Learning Centre is an integrated service location with a long day care centre providing early years care, safety, nutrition and education for residents of Balga, Girrawheen, Koondoola, Nollamara and Mirrabooka; suburbs classified in the government SEIFA* index as low socio, vulnerable and complex due to long term poverty, low education, addiction and homelessness etc. The ELC provides early  learning for 50 children each day, from 6 weeks old to 6 years old.

The numbers of children presenting with challenging and complex behaviours is increasing, possibly due to increased substance abuse/stress during pregnancy, trauma, generational poverty, low maternity knowledge, poor nutrition etc. This partnership will allow for children whose parents/families are in crisis, to retain their place at the Balga ELC. Funding for Balga ELC Crisis Support will ensure that children who are at risk will continue to benefit from the ELC, building protective factors and reducing risk factors.

The Foundation has worked in the Balga/Girrawheen area for many years and supported several schools through the Fogarty EDVance School Improvement Program. This is a three-year partnership commitment to supporting the community.

There is a new breed of ninjas in the north after Ashdale Secondary College launched CoderDojo North over the weekend. Thanks to Curtin University, Bankwest and the Autism Academy for Software Quality Assurance (AASQA), CoderDojo North is ready to motivate coding ninjas to be innovative creators of technology.

“It was great to see such a range of community partners coming together to start yet another Dojo in the community. The launch was attended by senior members across business, the AASQA academy and universities. Without this teamwork and band of volunteers, Dojos just wouldn’t exist!”

Simon Thuijs, Manager of CoderDojo WA

Coding is a tool that lets you write your story with technology. It is how humans talk to machines and an increasingly important skill for current and future generations. 

“In Australia today, 87% of jobs demand digital skills, so it’s really important that we equip our youngsters with knowledge about coding and computers. Already, Ninjas at current AASQA Dojos are being linked up with paid internships and then ongoing roles, going to show that employers are really looking for candidates with these skills.”

Simon Thuijs, Manager of CoderDojo WA

CoderDojo North is dedicated to students with autism, working to build their strengths for future training and employment opportunities. At the Dojo (coding club), Ninjas (students aged 12-18) will work on code-related projects such as websites, apps, game development and more, with the support of volunteer Mentors from Edith Cowan University (ECU) and Curtin University

Lainey Bradley is Champion of CoderDojo North and mother to a child with Autism who has shone since he started coding. 

“My son has been a part of CoderDojo WA since July 2017 and has exceled in his IT and coding skills.  He knows what career path he would like to take and to have the support of Ashdale Secondary College, Professor Tan (AASQA) and Dr Cook (AASQA), I know that he will realise his dream job. At long last we, as parents, have hope for the future of our loved ones leaving school and going out into the community armed with the skills to be a success.”

Lainey Bradley, Champion of CoderDojo WA North

Attendees of this exciting launch included Hon Kerry Sanderson AC CVO (Ambassador for AASQA), Lyn Beazley AO (Ambassador for AASQA), Margaret Quirk MLA, Professor Arshad Omari (Vice-Chancellor ECU), Dr Tele Tan (AASQA director) and Dr David Cook (AASQA Advisory Board and ECU). 

To find out more, contact Lainey.bradley@curtin.edu.au

An enthusiastic group of Dawson Park Primary School students returned to the classroom this week to assist in the professional development of more than 100 early childhood, primary and secondary teachers. The cohort included a range of participants, from pre-service teachers to graduates and teachers with 30+ years of experience.

The week-long EDvance Teaching Intensives provide the opportunity for teachers to develop and practice explicit instruction strategies. Since the intensives began in 2018, more than 500 teachers have benefitted from the sessions. With a growing appetite for explicit instruction in secondary schools, 2021 has been the first year secondary teachers have joined the program.

“There is significant evidence to support the successful application of high impact instruction, particularly for students from disadvantaged communities. Many practitioners are keen to develop skills in this area as part of their ‘toolkit’ for successful teaching,” said Georgie Wynne, Fogarty EDvance Program Director.

“Research confirms that 95% of teachers transfer new skills to their teaching practice after receiving ongoing coaching, feedback and support,” she said.

“The teaching intensive program provides teachers with a deeper understanding of this evidence-based approach and hands-on experience in the delivery of high impact instruction. This is supported by lesson demonstrations and individualised coaching from expert leaders in the field.

“The Fogarty Foundation established the EDvance Teaching Intensives to encourage teachers to adopt new practices for the improved educational outcomes of West Australian students.”

Dr Lorraine Hammond, Associate Professor at Edith Cowan University, and Brooke Wardana, an early years literacy expert, were instrumental in the program design and delivery. They were supported by a group of expert teachers in the delivery of lesson demonstrations, coaching, the provision of teaching resources and individualised support.

She said that teachers who follow an explicit or high impact instruction approach, demonstrate and model everything; from blending sounds together to decode words, to writing a complex sentence with figurative language.

“While some students achieve success quickly, others need far more opportunities for practice,” Dr Hammond said.

“Teachers who follow an explicit instruction approach provide daily reviews of previously learned knowledge and skills so they become automatic; they can then be applied to more complex tasks such as reading or writing a short story.

“Critics of explicit instruction typically argue it is a deficit model that sees students sitting passively in rows all day engaging in rote learning. This is a misunderstanding of explicit instruction, which when done properly, is engaging, and rarely done for extended periods of time.”

Annie Fogarty, Chairperson of the Fogarty Foundation, said the Foundation was committed to identifying, supporting and developing programs that deliver educational opportunities with wide impact.

“By investing in teachers, school leaders and school principals, we hope to inspire excellence and high-quality instruction in schools and improve educational outcomes for all West Australian students,” she said.

Scitech was abuzz this week, as coding ninjas from around WA joined forces to showcase their work and celebrate another fun year within the CoderDojo WA community.  

Presenters came from far and wide including Amherst Library, Rosalie Primary School, Beechboro Library, Alkimos Library and Falcon FabLab. They spoke about the fun they have when coding with their friends and the challenges they come across, such as solving debugging and syntax errors. 

“I enjoy coding things to move and I enjoy attempting to make and understand code. It is a great challenge,” Dylan (Canningvale) commented.  

“The coding is the easy part, it’s when you find a glitch going through all that code that is the challenge,” he said. 

“I really enjoy coding because I love socialising with other like-minded coders sharing a common interest,” Thomas (Shenton Park) said. 

“I really love making a quirky backstory to the things I create,” he added. 

Scitech’s Rich Williams spoke about the long friendship the Fogarty Foundation, CoderDojo WA and Scitech have had, saying that Scitech was thrilled to host the CoderDojo WA community. 

“What the Fogarty Foundation are doing, really aligns with what Scitech is all about,” Mr Williams said. 

“Encouraging a passion for science, technology and life-long learning. 

“2020 has shown us how important STEM subjects are. Epidemiologists, scientists, and those working in the technology space. Innovation at the forefront of quickly adapting to the needs of the community,” he said. 

Ninjas displayed interactive games, LEGO EV3 robots, drones and more.  

Annie Fogarty, Executive Chairperson of the Fogarty Foundation, thanked the CoderDojo WA community for their passion and enthusiasm before Simon Thuijs, Manager of CoderDojo WA, facilitated a Q&A with some young and innovative Ninjas. 

“It is great to see so many young people passionate about technology,” Mr Thuijs said to the group. 

“We are really proud of you: the innovative projects you have created and the communities you have built. 

“You are the next generation of leaders in WA and we look forward to seeing the amazing work you do in the future,” he said.  

Thank you to the many volunteers who assisted us throughout the evening, your help was invaluable and greatly appreciated by the CoderDojo WA community. 

The Fogarty EDvance team love to celebrate the achievements of our hard-working school leaders, and last week, we had the wonderful opportunity to acknowledge our Cohort 4 schools and the significant improvements they made during their School Improvement Program.  

Lisa Rodgers, Director General of the Department of Education WA, congratulated the school leaders for their dedication to their school improvement journey, recognising the unique nature of the program and its focus on building leadership capabilities as the mechanism to improve student outcomes.  

Cohort 4 consisted of 14 schools, with approximately 70 school leaders with a direct impact on almost 8,000 students.  

“As a result of their sustained commitment and hard work, every school that participated has seen improvements in academic and social outcomes for their students, with 60% of schools in the cohort having seen significant improvements in student outcomes,” said Georgie Wynne, EDvance Program Director. 

Bernadette Jones, Principal of Bullsbrook College, spoke enthusiastically about her school’s journey with the Fogarty EDvance team. 

“My wonderful team engaged with the program completely. For the first time we gave ourselves permission as an executive team to leave the school and take the time to be completely present at EDvance sessions,” she said. 

“We connected closely with our mentor, Peter, and felt very safe and trusting of his capacity to mentor and counsel us. That counselling from an independent person, with no connections other than that of advancing us within the Fogarty program was special. 

“We engaged with the readings and the learnings. We engaged enthusiastically with The Transformation Framework, the School Development Document, McKinsey and the OHI. 

“We have now engaged with the Alumni and I really feel that the Alumni has the potential to be as potent for the program as was the time we had as Cohort 4. 

“On behalf of the executive teams from schools in Cohort 4, a very warm thank you to Ingrid from our first couple of years, Georgie, Daniella, Caitlin, Annie, Peter, and the wonderful principal mentors, Learning Bar (TTFM), McKinsey (OHI) and all those open minded individuals who see the value of levelling the playing field of opportunities for all children across all schools.”  

Many thanks to Lisa Rodgers, Director General of the Department of Education WA; Dr Tony Curry, Director of Leadership & Employee Services, CEWA; Naveen Unni, Managing Partner Perth Office, McKinsey & Co; Megan Enders, Fogarty Foundation trustee; our Fogarty Foundation Partners and supporters; School Leaders and their EDvance Mentors, for attending. 

You can see the schools achievements in the Cohort 4 Report Card. 

Cohort 5 of the Fogarty EDvance School Improvement Program had their final workshop on 10 November. Throughout the 3-year program, nineteen schools attended sixteen workshops with support provided in the form of best practice research and tools, professional mentors, peer support, the development of a rich school data set, access to experts and additional programs, to support school improvement. 

During their final workshop, the school leaders shared their school’s change stories for their next 3 years, discussed their achievements over the past 3 years, shared effective practises and key learnings from other schools in the cohort, reflected on their learning experiences since the beginning of the program, and celebrated their successes.

Fogarty EDvance uses evidence-based research to support school improvement, bringing together the best tools from education, business, philanthropy, and the community sector. The School Improvement Program focuses on building the capacity of school leadership teams to make informed evidence-based decisions, strategically plan and ultimately, improve student outcomes. 

“We believe that with strong leadership, and a clear and prioritised strategic plan whole-school improvement can be achieved. We are incredibly proud of the progress these schools have made over the past 3 years, and we look forward to the ongoing impact this will have on the ~8,000 students across these schools in the future,” said Georgie Wynne, Fogarty EDvance Program Director.

“Our Cohort 5 schools now have access to a range of EDvance alumni activities through the FED Alumni Network. This will allow them to stay connected to ongoing professional learning and supports from the EDvance program, including a group of like-minded leaders who are passionate about improving education outcomes for children of all backgrounds in Western Australia.” 

The Fogarty Foundation established Fogarty EDvance to significantly improve and sustain academic outcomes of students in disadvantaged communities in Western Australia. To date, EDvance has worked with 96 schools spanning 7 cohorts, impacting over 300 school leaders, and 42,000+ students across Western Australia.

Congratulations to the following Cohort 5 schools who have successfully completed the Fogarty EDvance School Improvement Program:

Baynton West Primary School
Beeliar Primary School
Bridgetown Primary School
Dudley Park Primary School
East Maddington Primary School
Gilmore College
Greenfields Primary School
Harrisdale Senior High School
Harvey Senior High School
Karratha Primary School
Leschenault Catholic School
Northam Primary School
Onslow School
Pegs Creek Primary School
Redcliffe Primary School
Serpentine Primary School
St Mary’s School, Donnybrook
Tambrey Primary School
Woodland Grove Primary School